Church leaders mourn Russian invasion of Ukraine, urge de-escalation
Leaders of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) spoke out March 3 against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We mourn that, yet again, the desire for power, control and expansion has taken precedence over respect for human lives, livelihood and dignity,” the leaders said. They recognized “the right of Ukrainians to resist the assault on their homeland” and opposed “further militarization” by any party. They called for “de-escalation, … not heightened belligerency.”
They also condemned the “denial of access to safety and shelter” that “Africans, Middle Easterners and others” have experienced in Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion. “Preventing ethnic non-Ukrainians from crossing into European countries is racist and it must be named as such. It is a denial of human rights, dignity and respect which should be afforded to all people.”
- The Rev. John Dorhauer, general minister and president of the UCC
- The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, general minister and president of the Disciples
- The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, the UCC’s associate general minister for Wider Church Ministries and co-executive of Global Ministries
- The Rev. Marco Cable, president of the Disciples’ Division of Overseas Ministries and co-executive of Global Ministries
The statement joins a March 1 UCC appeal for humanitarian aid, a Feb. 25 Global Ministries invitation to join the worldwide faith community in prayer, and a Feb. 24 call to prayer issued by UCC leaders.
“We appeal to world leaders to work diligently and immediately to bring this conflict to an end,” the March 3 statement said. “We urge them to recognize and apply international law justly to the many situations of conflict around the world. In places that witness similar violations of human rights we ask that world leaders give urgent attention to finding resolutions.”
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